Open Access Publishing: More Readers, More Impact


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Ben Wagner, Sciences Librarian, Univ. at Buffalo

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Open Access Publishing: More Readers, More Impact

  1. 1. Open Access Publishing: More Readers, More Impact A. Ben Wagner, Sciences Librarian University at Buffalo WNY/Ontario ACRL Fall Conf. - Nov. 5, 2010 (or…Why scholars should care about open access and how to communicate that)
  2. 2. Do citation metrics really matter? Used to be Publish or Perish. Now it’s increasingly Get Cited or Perish. More departments tracking citation counts for individuals and subgroups in dept. Many more requests for citation metrics from faculty & even grad students Used increasingly in tenure, promotion, & funding allocations by departments, institutions, and even entire countries Rapidly moving beyond physical sciences
  3. 3. New NRC Report A Data-Based Assessment of Research- Doctorate Programs in the United States. Dept. by Dept. Ranking partially based on faculty publication metrics 2000-2006 using Web of Science citation data  
  4. 4. Do Metrics Really Matter? Nature, 16 June 2010. 465, p. 860-862
  5. 5. The OA Message to Researchers Open Access: more readers, more citations, more impact It’s your work; retain a few rights, at least posting a manuscript to repository. Sure you publish for prestige, but you also publish to be read!
  6. 6. 2007 All scholarly articles in journals covered by SSCI 238 Cites 2007 Impact = 238 2007 cites = 1.506 Factor 158 2005-06 articles 2005-2006 Child Abuse & Neglect (journal) 158 articles The Classic Journal Impact Factor
  7. 7. So what? JIF is a measure of extreme currency – 2 year window. JIF is a GROSS average. Average article in Nano Letters cited 10.371 times, But the citation RANGE = 0 - 319 times (14 articles cited zero times!). Never ever intended to measure quality of an individual article or author, even Thomson Scientific says that.
  8. 8. A Better Citation Metric h-Index (Hirsch Index) An h-Index of 11 means a person (or dept.) has 11 articles cited at least 11 times. Easily calculated from Web of Science
  9. 9. Critique of h-index Rewards longevity, but not least- publishable-unit or sheer quantity. Recent and old work rewarded equally Does not reward highly cited papers Many variants (g-index, m-index, etc. proposed to weight age, recent work, & highly cited papers, # of coauthors) Relatively insensitive to manipulation.
  10. 10. Variants of h-index g-index = g number of papers that received (collectively) g2 citations [Rewards highly cited papers] m-index = h-index / no. of years a researcher has published [normalizes for longevity]
  11. 11. Citation Indexes – Many more players – 1 SciFinder NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) Google Scholar/Harzing’s POP Amazon (Search inside this book) Scitation/Spin Web/PROLA Citation Bridge (US Patents) USPTO Optics InfoBase
  12. 12. Citation Indexes – Many more players - 2 CiteSeer (primarily computer & info sci) ScienceDirect PsycInfo IEEE Xplore Spires (High Energy Physics) IOP Journals CrossRef
  13. 13. My Take For an individual or department: h-index plus Total cites to all published articles plus  Citation Report graphs from appropriate the citation databases (SCI, SSCI, AHCI,+?) Give a pretty good take on the impact of one’s journal articles within the limits of available citation data. Demonstrably superior to JIF
  14. 14. A Free, New Citation Tool Harzing’s Publish or Perish Install from: Automatically analyzes citations from Google Scholar for any author. Instructive to compare Web of Science citation report with Harzing’s report. Warning: Dirty data, don’t take at face value.
  15. 15. Harzing’s POP Statistics Total number of papers & citations Ave. number of citations per paper & per author Ave. number of papers per author & per year Hirsch's h-index and related parameters Egghe's g-index Other variations on the h-index Age-weighted citation rate Number of authors per paper
  16. 16. Primer on Open Access (OA) OA simply means free-to-read. OA is fully compatible with rigorous peer review. OA does not necessarily mean author-pay (there are many models being tested). OA journals can be low or high quality, just like subscription journals.
  17. 17. Can OA have Prestige? PLOS Biology JIF=12.916 (8th out of 283 biochem journals) Started in October 2003 PLOS One (in 2010 will be the largest science journal in the world) – est. 8,000 articles JIF= 4.351 (10th out of 76 gen. biology journals)
  18. 18. OA – a flash in the pan? Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)  More than 5,553 fully OA, peer reviewed journals 2 new titles per day 2,361 journals containing 461,954 articles are searchable at article level.
  19. 19. OA – a flash in the pan? NOT! 1,500 OA repositories - new repository every day. Scientific Commons – 38 million OA items. 20% medical lit avail. Free within 2 years (Heather Morrison) Over 120 OA publication mandates
  20. 20. SO WHAT! We publish for prestige, but we also publish to be read & cited. What if I point you to actual research that shows OA articles are cited 25-250% more than toll access (TA) articles? Open Access Citation Advantage: An Annotated Bibliography – A. Ben Wagner, Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship, Winter 2010. 
  21. 21. A Couple of OA Cite Advantage Studies (OA-CA = citations to OA vs. TA articles) 44% OA-CA in Ecology (Norris & Rowland, 2008) The citation advantage of open-access articles. JASIST, 59(12), 1963-1972. OA-CA: Math (91%); Elec. Engineering (51%); Philosophy (45%) (Antelman 2004) Do open-access articles have a greater research impact? College & Research Libraries. 65(5): p. 372-382.
  22. 22. What scholars should know about OA Know what your OA options are.  OA journal not the whole story Most non-OA journals allow authors to deposit their articles in an IR/DR. See for publisher policies.
  23. 23. Remember Institutional Repositories You have rights! Retain right to mount your hard work to an IR/DR. Done right it will be visible to Google Scholar, OAIster, & other OAI harvestors. Wide variety of formats & document types It’s all about discovery. More avenues the better.
  24. 24. The OA Advantage As scholar, enlarge your audience/impact. As reader, enjoy free online access to the literature. As teacher, your students have free, liability-free access (fair use, course pack). For all of us, moving away from an unsustainable journal publishing system.
  25. 25. Two Stories Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling Article (how I came out on top because of open access) Reviewer Hell (the system is really, truly, profoundly broken)
  26. 26. Check out: Open the channels of communication in your field. Create Change (SPARC) Making Change Work for You Practical steps as faculty, researcher, reviewer, editor, society member, teacher. 
  27. 27. From Opportunity Assessment Instrument  ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit:  “10 Things You Should Know About Scholarly Communication” %20101%2010%20Things%20You.pdf.  “Open Access Overview” (Peter Suber):  Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook: Practical Steps for Implementing Open Access:  “Transforming Scholarly Communication and Publishing” (UB Libraries – for faculty and students):  6 Things Researchers Need to Know about OA – P. Suber